tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN February 5, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
reporting, thank you very much to you and your team for all of that. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. follow me on twitter and instagram @wolf blitzer, tweet the show at cnn. thanks for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts next. >> "outfront" next, president trump about to speak to the nation as a shut down looms. he's complaining the drafts of the speech are too gentle on democrats. >> and federal prosecutors want to interview executives inside the trump administration. is this a bigger threat than the mueller investigation. and virginia's embattled governor, digging in, refusing to step down as the lieutenant governor is facing scrutiny. let's go out on the. -- let's go out front. and good evening, i'm erin burnett, welcome to a special edition of "outfront." we are live tonight from
washington here in the nation's capitol. president trump getting ready to faface the nation and deliver h second state of the union address before a newly divided congress, and there is a lot on the line this evening. another shut down is looming and the president's original state of the union speech you may remember was cancelled by house speaker, nancy pelosi because of the shut down. the president is expected to renew calls for border wall funding, the very thing that led to the last shut down, contractors apparently have been at the white house this week, and we know the president is taking action on his wall because according to sources, the president and his son-in-law jared kushner had contractors at the white house to discuss specific construction for the wall with a meeting as recently as yesterday. and "the new york times" tonight reporting that the president has been complaining to his staff that the drafts of the speech that they had prepared are too gentle on the democrats. this has come after days of the white house insisting publicly that this is going to be a unifying speech. we'll see. kaitlan collins is out front
live of the white house. those were the headlines and now the president apparently complaining, i don't want to be so nice to democrats, what more are you learning about the speech? >> you have seen white house officials come out and say the president is going to call for unity, something they think could happen in washington. behind closed doors, they are not that optimistic after the president and senate minority leader chuck schumer spent the day firing back at each other before the president spoke upon capitol hill tonight. the president is going to try to find common ground, talking about opioids, lowering drug prices, infrastructure, but what the take away is the president focussing on his border wall, something as we know democrats have fierce ly resisted funding. he's going to lay out the days during the prime time address. the p tresident is skeptical he going to come to an agreement and that's evident in his actions, not just what he said about this but the fact that he met with contractors here at the
white house yesterday to discuss building his border wall shows that he's not very confident that they're going to find a deal on capitol hill that will help him get that wall. now he spent the day going other the speech, spent hours on it, going over it with steven miller, one of his top aides today. they are expecting the president to come out and speak for about 45 minutes, which is about half of how long he spoke last year during that first state of the union address but erin, one thing we will be watching and i've asked white house officials about but no one has gotten back to me yet is whether or not the president is going to congratulation house speaker nancy pelosi on her recent ascension to the gavel and becoming house speaker or not. so far none have said whether or not he will. >> thank you very much, and we'll check back in as we get ready for the state of the union this hour, and my guests are with me. our senior political analyst, mark pariston, white house correspondent abby philip. keerston powers. former trump campaign
strategist, david ervin. republican congressman from utah, mia love, and white house counselor to bill clinton, paul begala. let's start with you, david. so here we are. >> indeed. >> and this was bipartisan, going to be about unity, and they had successfully pushed out the headlines and now the leak comes, he's upset about the headlines and doesn't want to be too kind. >> we shouldn't get too surprised at the difference in this administration with previous administrations as it leads up to the state of the union, but i can't think of an example where you roll out what you expect you want the message to be and the take away be and have your own people cut it anonymously, before you make it to the capitol to give the speech. there's nothing in president trump's first two years that would indicate to us that a call for unity and bipartisanship was going to be long lasting. he was already taking after
chuck schumer on twitter this morning, so i don't think anybody expects there to be a dramatic reshaping of this presidency at this half-time mark in its first term, but clearly this is what they wanted, the administration wanted the message to be going in and it didn't last until the start of the speech. >> he got the drudge headline, and he tweeted it, and they took a screen grab of his sweet, and all of a sudden it's over. >> it was kind of the most predictable thing imaginable. when he comes out and says this. it's a wonderful idea, and it would be great if he was willing to do that and if the democrats were willing to do that and everyone was willing to come together, most of all that he would set the stage for it. that would be a wonderful thing. in the past, he's made these kinds of noises and within hours, usually it's all sort of, you know, blown up. >> and then there's, you know, the words and the words you put around it, mark, and the meat of it, the substance, and he's going to be talking about things like the economy. everyone should be celebrating
the historic lows of unemployment among african-americans and hispanics, the need to lower prescription drug prices, ending hiv, these are some of the things we anticipate will be in here. these are all things everybody can agree on, right? >> but there's the big but. the speech tonight, woo err going to be fascinated -- we're going to be fascinated to see how he carries himself. that is part of what we have to look for in him as a president, will he carry himself with decorum, what kind of message will he spread, it's really not what he says tonight. it's really what he's going to say tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. or 6:00 a.m., depending on what time he gets up when he starts firing off tweet. we kind of have a guest, as we have noted he was going after chuck schumer this morning at the same time we're talking about unity. i would say this for the democrats tonight, though, the democrats would be smart not to play into the partisan game with trump and try to continue to talk about unity no matter what
he says tonight. be interesting to see if that message can cut through. >> let's talk about this chuck schumer incident this morning. okay. so original reporting was that he's going to have an end to the politics of resistance and retribution and he was going to call for unity. this morning he tweeted at chuck schumer, i see schumer. i don't know what the use of the last name means. he's criticizing my state of the union speech, he's upset he didn't win the senate after spending a fortune like he thought he would. >> i think we should pay very close attention to what white house aides say. they're talking about ending the politics of resistance and retribution. that is almost exclusively about democrats, what the white house wants democrats to do. there's little we have heard about what the president is going to do. that's why what he says tonight is only one part of the equation. the other part is the follow through. the challenge for president trump is he can lay out what he wants to accomplish, but there is a lack of trust, not just
among democrats but also republicans don't know if they can count on what he says being actually true, the next day or the day after that and i think that the politics of the wall is really important. there is nothing that can be done in washington until this issue is resolved and it's not clear to me from conversations with white house officials that they believe the politics has changed any from the 35 day shut down. they are still in the same place today that they were in january in terms of how they think about this issue and how they can pressure democrats. tonight will be an opportunity to see whether or not the president thinks about those politics. >> and there's no, i would imagine, coincidence to the timing of contractors coming to the white house to talk about the wall. >> the schumer thing, the president was punching back. schumer went after the president, and the president responding to chuck schumer. resist his own worst instincts there and stick with it. don't undercut your message,
stick with the script. to talk about the themes in this, democrats and republicans can agree on, you talked about ending hiv by 2030, infrastructure, lowering prescription drug costs, i expect to see most on the democratic side standing up and clapping. this president liked the feel. he liked how that felt. liked the response of that, so that was, i would say, a little bit easier to get done than sfra infrastructure and some of these things he's going to propose because that was moving all right. >> when you take hiv, it's an important thing, a scourge that needs to be addressed, would he not also say jump on cancer because that was barack obama's thing. >> i don't think the cancer moon shot thing is off the table. i think this is what he's focussing on here. you have this huge surge of opioids that's, you know, rampant in america. opioids a national emergency, he wanted to declare a national emergency. i would suggest that is where he start first. there are themes throughout this
that are really conciliatory and that you can work together with democrats on it. maybe not in an election year, but, you know, they could get stuff done if they wanted to. >> congresswoman love, kellyanne conway was asked today about the speech and how the american people should be preparing for it, and here's what she said. >> i think they should listen to the message and not always listen to the messenger. >> an oddly blunt acknowledgment, it would seem that she knows the messenger can be a problem, at least polarizing. >> listen to the message and not the messenger. i think you have to listen to both. the state of the union is actually supposed to talk about the state of the union, the united states, where we are, where we're going, and the fact that there's so many people talking about the speech before the speech happens, you've got a lot of people saying this is what to look out for, this is what's going to happen. i think that's the problem with the beltway, i think people are already sending their message out there, saying hey, watch out for this, and watch out for that. everyone should go into this with an open mind, and then, i
agree, listen to what is said the next day and how people actually react to it. i'm going to be looking at the atmosphere also to watch out to see who is actually there for themselves, whether they're going to be the presidential candidate for 2020 and what their message is or, you know, the things that are really, whether it's going to be about the president or whether it's going to be about them. i think those are the things. >> and will we really see democrats stand up and applaud when he brags about the record low unemployment rate among certain groups. >> no. >> that's the thing. >> so what. >> who cares. >> who cares. >> boo paul begala. >> it just doesn't matter. what matters a lot is what our president says and what matters more is what he does. this is amusing to me to he kellyanne say focus on the message, not the messenger. roger ailes wrote you are the
message. he was right about that. that's the problem. when donald trump says i want unity and community, i want that too. but, you know, it's like urban and i doing ads for pantene hair products. we aren't going to be credible. >> one of you has more hair. a statement of fact. >> back in the clinton case, we got pasted the midterms, the president is pretending he won the midterm election. he got paesed. first thing of husband mouth, bill clinton, first thing he said, again we are here in the sanctuary of democracy, and once again our democracy has spoken. let me begin by congratulating all of you in the 104th congress and congratulations you, mr. speaker. he hated newt gingrich. but he understood that he was the messenger. he had to be a unifying figure in his deeds as well as his
words and he was and folks loved it. that's the first test, will he congratulate nancy pelosi by name. he should. he won't. >> wait a second, by name or by title. by name could be seen as a slight. >> i mean madame speaker. >> he better say madame speaker. >> not happening. >> but i do think that applauding for the wins, applauding for unemployment, applauding for those things, i think it's important for us to make sure. it shows credibility when somebody says, i agree. >> you can't boo everything. >> keep in mind, just this morning the president talked about how republicans did so well in the senate, not mentioning at all the house, so he has never been one to talk about that part of the chamber and what happened in november. next ohio senator sherrod brown, where he and president trump agree. where sherrod brown maybe in the running for 2020. and virginia's embattled governor, digging in and refusing to step down after the
racist photo from his yearbook surfaced and his terrible response to it. the lieutenant governor is facing scrutiny in that state, and trump giving his big speech, and it is the madame speaker, nancy pelosi's house. how will she respond to the president tonight. ♪ ♪ memories. what we deliver by delivering. when your flight gets in late, it's never too early for coffee. oh no no no. your new boss seems cool, but she might not be sweatpants cool. who is that ready this early? it's only 7 am.
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this is a very difficult job. failure is not an option.a. more than half of employees across the country bring financial stress to work. if you're stressed out financially at home, you're going to be too worried to be able to do a good job. i want to be able to offer all of the benefits that keep them satisfied. it is the people that is really the only asset that you have. put your employees on a path to financial wellness with prudential. bring your challenges. and we are moments away from president trump's state of the union to congress coming as cnn is learning that federal prosecutors in new york have requested interviews with executives at the trump
organization and i want to note that those requests have come in just recent weeks. so this isn't something that happened a while ago we're finding out. this is happening now and the focus is not immediately clear but it does come just one day after we reported that trump's inaugural committee was subpoenaed in a probe into possible financial abuses, including how foreign doe in this cases were used -- donations were used. democratic senator from ohio, sherrod brown, i appreciate your time tonight. obviously an important night, the president coming to capitol hill. we are learning of interviews with people within the trump organization is separate from mueller's russia investigation. it's coming from the southern district in new york which of course is responsible now for michael cohen impending prison sentence. what do you think is a bigger threat to president trump? the mueller investigation or what seems to be going on in new york? >> well, i'm not a lawyer, and i don't try to measure one threat to the president against the other, and i just say law
enforcement needs to do its job. the bigger threat to the american people is president trump measures the economy by the stock market, an economy that a presidency that's enriching him and his family and i measure the economy with what's happening with workers wages, what's happening to the dignity of work, what's happening to the cost of health care, what's happening to the cost of education and the president would rather distract and change the subject than focus on workers wages. i have seen the betrayal or workers in youngstown, ohio with the gm closing, the betrayal of workers where workers wages are flat while profits are up for corporationing corporations. that to me is the bigger story. i want law enforcement to do their job. >> when he says as he will that african-american unemployment is a record low. is that something he deserves credit for, that that deserves standing applause? >> it doesn't matter who gets credit. i saw when we rescued the auto industry ten years ago, we have had ten years of economic
growth, ten years of increased jobs, and that's great that the african-american unemployment rate is lower, but dignity of work means that workers wages go up too. we see corporate profits go up, skyrocketing executive compensation, productivity going up, but wages aflat and women ad people of color have more challenges with flat wages. that's the real issue, not somebody having two or three jobs that pay 11 or $12 an hour, white or black, the people not making wages that can keep up with inflation and pay for their prescription drugs, and pay for their kids school and all the other things we need. >> prescription drugs obviously he is going to call for those prices to come down, which is obviously something you agree with. in fact, senator when i look at the past, what i think is very interesting is you had a lot of the same things to say long before president trump actually said them. even put america first echoes
you. in fact, you said that, senator, brown, more than a decade ago. let me show you and everyone who's watching who may not beware some of the echoes between you and president trump. >> in all things it's time to put americans first. >> it's time to put americans first. >> we have to have fair trade deals. >> it's about standing up for fair trade. >> this wave of globalization has wiped out totally, totally our middle class. >> a big part of the reason wages flat is because we have not done globalization well. >> you sound the same. >> well, it's the same on the surface, except that president trump has played off american workers against foreign workers. president trump won't adopt a buy america policy for america's infrastructure, building bridges, buying steel, all of that, president trump's engaged in racist rhetoric, which i will never ever and have never ever done, when he demonizes
immigrants. i mean, his a phony populism that pushes the divides and pushes people down. real populism is never racist, it's never anti-semitic, it never divides. real populists don't give tax cuts to rich people like the phony p pho phony populism from the president of the united states is. >> if you want to say what real populism is as opposed to phony populism, the big debate is whether raising taxes is or better done through increased economic growth. elizabeth warren has the elt with tax idea, 2 to 3% on the assets for the wealthy. cory booker has talked about the rich people funding savings accounts for the less well off. congressman ocasio-cortez, with her proposal to double taxes on the wealthest to 70%. do you support any of the propos
proposals, 70% taxes, savings accountings. >> two years ago i presented to the senate finance committee and the president of the united states my corporate, my patriotic corporation act which did one simple thing, if you pay good wages and provide decent benefits and you do your production in the united states, you get a lower tax rate and at the same time, the family tax relief act, which focussed the earned income tax credit, if you made 30, 40, 50, $60,000 a year, you got money in your pocket back on your taxes, so fundamentally, you want a tax system that puts money in the pockets of middle class, hard working families, and that takes away the incentives for companies to shut down production in dubuque or man chester and move production overseas and get a tax break. that's how my focus of tax reform is. you take away the big tax cut that president trump gave to companies and to individuals and you build a tax system that helps middle class families,
puts money in their pockets and stops the moving of overseas. >> so to understand specifically, would you raise that corporate tax rate from where it is now? from what he lowered it, would you go ahead and actively raise corporate taxes? >> the corporate tax rate, i would start with scaling back overall the trump tax cut and replace it with incentives for companies to manufacture here, incentives for buy america, making putting money in the pockets of middle class taxpayers. i'm not going to pick one or two or three pieces of food off the menu, servings off the menu, i'm going to pull it together in a tax bill that gives incentives for companies to stay here. the president's tax bill actually gives a 50% off coupon for companies that shut down in cedar rapids, iowa, and move overseas to a city in mexico. i mean, it makes no sense. the president has done that because in the end, this
presidency is about putting money in his family's pockets and in the pockets of his fellow new york billionaires, it's not about folks in the middle class. that's why he has betrayed workers in the country. >> when you said in 2006, it's time to put americans first, now he says it's time to put america first in 2016. ten years apart. you are perceived as someone to run for the white house. beto o'rourke is going to decide by the end of the month. that's another person about to decide. what's your latest thinking for when you will formally tell us if you're running for the white house? >> let me address. probably march, connie sdprand, will decide. i don't go to early states looking for big crowds. i'm going and listening to workers and farmers and listen to people talk about their lives. go back to the putting america first that you have a video of
whatever that i said many many times. it's about putting workers first, but it's not about racism, it's never about beating up on foreign workers. it's never talking about dividing in this phony populism. i think it's important to make that distinction that to me it's about lifting workers up in all countries and that's how you put our country first because we, if you raise wages in mexico and the u.s. with the real change in the north american free trade agreement, a good negotiate agreement, you lift workers in both countries and mexicans will be able to buy more american cars or americans will buy mexican products and it lifts all boats and that's what trade is all about. >> senator brown, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> of course, erin. the litmus test for 2020. you have stood up and said the governor of virginia needs to go. he hasn't gone yet. what are they going to do about it. governor northam standing strong and the lieutenant governor
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had to submit in an envelope, a sealed envelope, each person with their page. democratic virginia congressman, donald mckeecham, i don't know what the governor thinks, i get through the first 72 hours, i'm going to be okay. you have called for him to resign. is there any sign of it? >> i think he's circling the wagons, i know he has had meetings with cabinet members, people of color that are on his staff. ralph needs to think about what's in the best interest of virginia and of the party and that's to stand down. we're in the middle of an election cycle. we're down one seat in both chambers and this is the 400 anniversary of africans coming to jamestown in chains and to have that juto have a governor with black face is not the look my state wants to give the rest of the nation. >> do you think he's just
waiting to do it or trying to wait through it. >> i have heard a cup of different versions, one is he wants to ride it out, and the other is that he wants enough time just to at least clear his name about the picture in the yearbook, and then he'll stand down. the problem with both of those is it's not about the yearbook anymore, it's about confessing that you did it as michael jackson. how do you know how much polish to put on your face if you have never done it before. all of those things. he's referred to as coonman. all those things are troublesome and his answers have not been satisfactory. >> his willingness to do the moon walk until his wife told him not to. part of the context here that has now come into this, congressman justin fairfax, the lieutenant governor who would be the one to succeed northam if he does go away has come under fire for allegations of an incident of sexual assault back in 2004, which he ve hementhemently deni
speculates somebody is smearing him with this. >> does anybody think it's any coincidence that on the eve of potentially my being elevated that that's when this uncorroborated smear comes out? >> do you believe the allegations against him at this point, congressman? >> i have not heard the accuser articulate the allegations. i can't really comment on that. i know what justin has said. i know that he has said it was a consensual relationship before he was married, i think he was a staffer for john edwards in that presidential run. until she comes forward and has a chance to say what's on her mind, you can't judge her story. >> one of the questions i have is her story deserves to be heard. we need to figure out what's going on. does governor northam stepping down have anything to do with justin fairfax. some people are saying, well, okay, should he then stay in office if justin fairfax did this, no, right?
>> well, the question of governor northam resigning and justin fair fax ascending to the governorship are completely different questions. we know, you know, like we said, justin has denied it. we have got that out there. the governor confessed to doing what he's been accused of doing. and again, and it's about his ability to lead and to heal us. we forgive ralph. we have all made mistakes, but he's no longer in a position to heal us or lead us, and that's the challenge. >> that of course is what he said, he would leave when he couldn't lead effectively. stay with me, please, congressman, i want to bring everyone into the conversation. paul, here's one of the big questions we face here. governor northam, does he think he can wait this out? is this sort of the 72-hour rule of crisis public relations, now i'm going to be okay and hope this justin fairfax stuff gets loud enough and they won't care i did this racist thing? >> they are two very different things. northam has been through the
worst, calling for him to resign, he's not resigning. i don't think he will, and will se see if we can, he has the same constitutional powers, he has the same agenda. there was a report out of richmond when the leader of the house of delegates, i want to give him more time and space. the pressure is easing on him. it's completely different. i don't want to conflate these two things. the lieutenant governor, now, uncorroborated allegation against him. the state party which is already called on northam, the governor to resign, put out a statement today saying all allegations of sexual assault deserve to be taken with profound gravity. we will continue to evaluate the situation regarding lieutenant governor fairfax. i don't know what else. i don't have a better statement for them but that's not a resounding, it's certainly not calling for him to resign like they did for northam and also not a resounding, we got your back, justin. it's uncorroborated but we're supposed it also want to hear and believe victims. >> there is a timing issue,
right, if it happened it needs to be investigated and decide what to do about it. is the timing coincidental? >> it could be coincidental. it seems strange. it is something that i think you asked the question why did this all of a sudden come up, but i do think that they're two separate issues in the sense of just back to what you were asking him originally, i do think what the governor is trying to do is sort of the, you know, run out the clock thing, you know, change the story. it reminds me of access hollywood, frankly, first sort of being sorry, maybe imprint do -- maybe i didn't do it, and i can keep doubling down and eventually people will move on. i don't think that's going to happen. enough democrats have stood up and said, you know, this is not okay, and i think it's amazing to hear you say, you know, you forgive him but he can't lead. that's the best he can hope for, right, i mean, the fact that people would say we forgive you for doing it, but obviously you have to put the needs of the people that you're leading above
your own needs. right? i mean, you need to just take responsibility and step down. that's the right thing to do. >> now he's taking a page out of the trump play book in a sense, okay, deny, deny, first he said he did it. maybe that was a mistake, i should have never said it was me. >> listen, that was the most ham handed, the entire episode, everyone watched it unfold. every presidential candidate is going to be asked about this over and over and over again. the drum beat is going to get louder. he's not going to survive, he should step down, do the right thing. people are going to be asked repeatedly, every debate, every town hall they show up in, and it's going to get so loud that he can not remain in place. >> to me, this is about credibility, if i look at my former colleague here, who, by the way, treated me very well. thank you, as the only republican in the congressional black caucus, people should take note as to what he is saying here. first of all, i don't think you can actually govern or have anything to do with the state
legislature when people don't trust you. they don't trust what you're going to say. he has apologized on one hand and then come back and said, well, that's not me. he knows more about shoe polish on the face than most people. he has his wife sitting there telling him what's appropriate and what's not appropriate. so to me this is about a credibility issue. >> that's cause for resignation and donald trump is still our president? are you kidding me? >> wait a minute, because when steve king went out and said something inappropriate, i called him out and i said i'm sorry, you can't be here, you've got to go. the same thing, i think we need to call people out on both ends of the spectrum. that's not the only thing. i know a lot of people don't like to talk about this, but this is a person who is i think incredibly extreme on his views when it comes to contempt for human life. here's the third trimester, saying i'm supporting third trimes r abortions, to me -- trimedicationer abortions, to me -- trimester abortions and to
have no credibility, and contempt for people of color. he should own it, apologize and move on. >> before we go, how much time do you think he has until people start talking about impeachment or the next step which they have been very careful to avoid in order to give him the space to do the right thing? >> well, we need to understand that impeachment in virginia is just like impeachment in the frov federal government and that's for malfeasance in the office. it might be nice and interesting to talk about it, i think that's a fantasy. but i do think that it's got to donna and ralph, what candidate wants to campaign with you. again, we have the house of delegates, the state senate up and every time you want to appear with somebody, they're going to have to justify why they're appearing with you. every time you want to write a check out of your pac to them, they have to justify why they accepted that money. it's not going to work. >> and i would just say wait until the boycotts start. he doesn't go, the corporations, entities, just in north carolina and other states, they'll flex
their muscle and make him go. >> all right. thank you all very much. i appreciate it, and congressman, thank you so much for coming and being with me. and by the way, of course, stacey abrams giving the democratic response, and we have some breaking excerpts from that coming up right after this, as well as democrat leaders nancy pelosi and chuck schumer wrapping up a key meeting. our dan na baa bash, so what di have to say about the big address tonight and how do the 2020 candidates plan to send a message to president trump during the state of the union. for real this time. that's why i'm using nicorette. only nicorette gum has patented dual-coated technology for great taste. plus intense craving relief. every great why, needs a great how.
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welcome back to a special edition of "outfront" from washington on the state of the union evening, breaking news as we are getting our first excerpts of the democratic response from stacey abrams, that's what she will be delivering after president trump's state of the union. the former georgia candidate for governor will say in part, quote, the shut down was a stunt engineered by the president of
the united states, one that defied every tenet of fairness and abandoned not just our people but our values. meanwhile at the capitol, a lot of focus on house speaker nancy pelosi. that's always the person dana bash said i love to wash. just the look on their face, and you know, sometimes she has a great look of incredulity that she can throw out there, and obviously you have been a part of her preparations today, dana. tell us. >> reporter: that's right. she and chuck schumer, the democratic leader in the senate talked to some of us here in the capitol a short while ago, and the gist is they're trying to exude a sense of hope, not a giant sense of hope because they say they are realistic, but in particular, the speaker said the last time she spoke with the president which is late last week when she reinvited him to the state of the union after it was cancelled initially, they did talk about the areas where
they can work together, infrastructure, reducing prescription drug prices and she said that she hopes that that will come across in his speech tonight but again, both she and senator schumer said it passed its prologue, that might not happen and in her blunt way pelosi said with regard to the way he's going to be received tonight, this isn't something where we say, god, we hope he doesn't melt down, so that's not exactly the highest bar that they're looking for there among the democrats but there's no question, erin, it is going to be a very very different vibe, a different scene, different optics, not just having nancy pelosi behind president trump but as pelosi reminded us, the sea of democrats, the sea of a very different, much more diverse congress than he saw this time last year. >> all right. thank you very much. dana bash. our panel is back here. i want to talk about stacey abrams excerpts but first the theater that will be tonight.
nancy pelosi sitting there behind the president is going to be enjoyable to watch. >> well, of course. and for many reasons, first of all, it is going to be a visual representation of a different washington than donald trump has had to inhabit before as president, so just having the democratic opposition leader literally sitting over his shoulder and keeping watch on him is a completely different visual, but also obviously, here was the first female speaker of the house of representatives has now returned to that position. i remember when george w. burn gave his state of the union address in 2007 after the democrats won and nancy pelosi became speaker last time, paul was referencing bill clinton, george w. bush did a magnanimous nod to the moment in history that nancy pelosi had. this is a particular position for her. i don't think you're going to see nancy pelosi take advantage of this position in some way. she has been here before. she knows what she's doing. i agree with you, sometimes her facial expressions, they seem almost involuntary in certain
moments and i'll be looking for those moments. >> beware of the eye rolls. >> that would be classic moment. >> but we have seen them face-to-face before, and they had a really fiery oval office meeting in which you saw her really going head to head. she really gets up in arms when she feels like the president is misrepresenting facts and i think we will all be on the lookout for whether or not the president is being straightforward with the truth but i think for nancy pelosi, that's one of the big things for her, and i think she thinks it distorts the debate. it will be interesting to see whether she can keep a straight face during those moments. >> and then of course, stacey abrams, this is an interesting moment. it isn't a sitting senator. this is a different all together, this is someone who lost, but is seen as a rising star. >> seen as a rising star, what a juxtaposition. we talked about the problems she was going to have seeking to become the speaker of the house, and problems within her caucus.
she did have problems because she's such a good politician, and she's a killer. we saw that when she was sitting across the couch from president trump and got into his face, which is ard ha -- hard thing to do when you're in somebody else's office. stacey abrams is the new face of the democratic party and is leading this new pack of democratsment andrew gillum a rising star. >> bay toe o'rourke who -- beto o'rourke who said i'm interested in running. i have to find myself but we'll know in a few weeks. cory bo cory booker, kamala harris. where is the bench in the democratic party, we didn't see much of one, hillary clinton, bernie sanders, we didn't see much of a bench after that. now the bench is really overflowing, democrats in the long run if they can keep it together. >> paul, how important is this moment for stacey abrams and the
democratic party. she'll say when we had to negotiate criminal justice reform or transportation or foster care improvements, the leaders of our state didn't shut down. we came together is we kept our word. it should be no different in our nation's capitol. we may come from different sides of the political aisle >> where she was the democratic leader in the georgia house of representatives. it is an interesting point for us to point out. only in the democratic party do you win by losing. it's beto. >> noancy pelosi won by a land slide and some knuckle heads think she shouldn't be speaker. i'm using knucklehead because it's family appropriate. her being outside of washington is important. >> every one stay with me. next, more on the breaking news.
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we're just over an hour away from the president's state of the union. the spotlight not just on the president but his guests too. melaa will be there too. that's a big part of this, the guests. we expect the first lady to leave the white house early. a lot of eyes will be on her as well. >> one of her guests is a child who has been bullied because his last name is trump. i think he had to change his last name. bullying is one of her big things. i've seen people making fun of this because this is who he chose. it's quite sad. his mother says he hate himself. it's legitimate bullying. i think it's a good thing to highlight. it doesn't change the fact i think she is highlighting some thing that's a real problem in
our country and really tragic. >> what do you expect from his decorum? last year was an hour and a half. this year is supposed to be half that. >> i think he will try to strike a strong, conciliatory tone. >> he's complaining around the tone is too soft. >> i don't know if that's true. i think you will see a conciliatory tone. kind of strong. you're talking about criminal justice reform and these fuzzy puppy infrastructure, ending aids. things that everybody wants. you'll see that. >> i want to touch on this young kid with the last name trump. i have kids. when you see adults bullying
each other, it really sets the strong tone for our youth. when i tell my kids don't look at what anybody else says on their twitter feed, look at mine. history is going to judge us on what we write. here is what i'm hoping for. i'm hoping that everyone on both sides of the aisle, especially the president, elevates the conversation. talks about what is good for the count country. talk about where they could reach across the aisle and make things work for america. i'm hoping the speaker of the house is accepting that. i hoip itpe it's not going to b combati combative. >> he has contractors coming for the wall. >> no matter what gets done, we're ten days away from this deadline. every one is still ducking.
there's nothing that will change in washington tonight because of this speech. we'll wake up to the reality, we have a polarized washington that doesn't have a solution with both sides dug in. >> the state of the union is the guests that we saw that were brought by democrats and republicans that all have stories whether they lost a family member who was murdered, whether it's a young boy who was bullied. whether it's somebody who lost somebody over seas who is serving our country. the state of the union isn't donald trump and the members of congress who will be there plaidsing or not plaidsing. state of the union is us. it's not in a great place. the economy might be fine but we're not fine. i think as we all watch this tonight, we'll see. >> it's interesting what his words will be. >> it will given that we came out.
there are opportunities for president trump in this speech. he used them in the past to find somebody that everybody can agree on. i think it was last year he brought a north korean defector to the state of the union. he was a surprise guest. it was an incredibly powerful moment for the chamber who needed to be there to represent freedom, striving for something greater and what can happen when people do that. the president has opportunities in this speech, in this moment to do that whether he takes it tonight will be a really important thing. >> that will be a smart thing if he can do something like that. that's putting democrats on the back foot. they may need to stand to support him. >> that would be a wonderful thing. the state of the union is divided. the problem is the president has an instinct for more division, not less.
he believes conciliatory is weak. he was one key and that's the key of hate. >> it's a big an important night and the nation will be watching. our special coverage continues with anderson and ac 360. good evening. i'm anderson cooper. president trump will walk into nancy pelosi's house to deliver his first state of the union address since she became speaker. she will be right over the president's shoulder. it was a battle to get to this night. she uninvited the president last month during the longest shutdown in u.s. history and another shutdown could happen just next week. staring back at the president, democrats who want his job and looking to challenge mr. trump in 2020 and the democrats who now control the house. i'm going to bring in wolf